Smorgasbord Music Column – William Price King Meets Music Legends – #Jazz – Diana Krall Part Four – 2010s and Beyond

It is nine years since William Price King joined Smorgasbord to share music across the genres. We continue in 2023 with series sharing the lives and music of some of the great names in music over the last century

Welcome to the series about musical legends from the last 100 years and now we explore the life and music of Jazz singer Diana Krall

Music Legends – Jazz – Diana Krall – Part Four – 2010s and Beyond

In this final part of the Diana Krall story I would like to look at her most recent work and also include some of the honours that she has received so far. It is also interesting to find out what an artist feels about their own work, so I have some quotes by Diana to include in the post.

Here is a list of some of her honors so far in her wonderful career.

In 2000, Diana Krall was awarded the “Order of British Columbia.”
In 2003 she was given an honorary Ph.D. (Fine Arts) from the University of Victoria.
In 2004, she was inducted into “Canada’s Walk of Fame.”
In 2005, she was made an Officer of the “Order of Canada.”
In 2008, “Nanaimo Harbourfront Plaza” was renamed “Diana Krall Plaza.”
She is an honorary board member of the “Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation.”
Krall has been selected a Steinway & Sons Artist and performs exclusively with Steinway pianos in recording sessions, concerts, and public appearances.

Here is one of her quotes that I think sums up Diana Krall’s down to earth approach to the music industry and its demands.

“I’ve played a lot of piano bars, I sound like Humphrey Bogart, but you don’t begin at the Royal Albert Hall. You have to work very hard to be a jazz musician and you’ve got to do some things you might not want to, as in any job. I was sent to Europe and I was like a human jukebox, playing six hours a night.”

In 2009 Diana Krall entered into a collaboration with the incredible vocalist Barbra Streisand and it was expected that combining their two very individual talents would produce a very different sound for Barbra Streisand. The album Love Is The Answer was released in the September. It was co-produced with Diana Krall’s long term musical collaborator Tommy LiPuma and featured Johnny Mandel’s arrangements of the tracks selected from the Great American Songbook.

Johnny Mandel had been in the business for several decades and had begun to play professionally in the early 40s. He had played trumpet and then trombone with the most popular bands of the day including Buddy Rich and Jimmy Dorsey. He went on to play and arrange for the top artists in the business including Frank Sinatra, Peggy Lee and also Barbra Streisand.

Whilst there is no doubt about the polished performances and finish to the album, some critics felt that it was not quite as much a departure from previous Streisand albums as expected; especially with the input from Diana Krall and Tommy LiPuma. It is perhaps understandable that with two very seasoned musicians and performers such as Barbra Streisand and Johnny Mandel that they would stay within their comfort zone.

However, Barbra Streisand has millions of fans around the world and the album became her ninth Number 1 album on the Billboard 200 and this made her the only artist to have a number one album in the United States in five different decades. The album was certified gold in November giving Barbra Streisand 51 Gold records.

Here is a track from the album If You Go Away by Jacques Brel and Rod McKuen. Uploaded by babsfan2

In 2011 Diana Krall took a break and was in Sri Lanka for a time, returning in September 2012 to accompany Paul McCartney at Capitol for his live performance of his album ‘Kisses on the Bottom, aired live on the Internet. Also on September 13th Diana performed Fly Me to the Moon at Neil Armstrong’s memorial service in Washington D.C. Here is the song which was written by Bart Howard and a fitting tribute to a great pioneer of space.

A new album Glad Rag Doll was also released in October 2012, produced with T Bone Burnett, and featured a much older set of songs; pre-dating most of the Jazz Standards, having been written between the two World Wars. These included the title track Glad Rag Doll written by Milton Ager, Dan Dougherty and Jack Yellen, When the Curtain Comes Down by Carl Hoefle, Al Lewis and Al Sherman and I’m a Little Mixed Up by Betty James and Edward Johnson.

This departure from the Jazz Standards was Diana Krall at her most individual and also most comfortable; with her signature vocals bringing back the blues and vaudeville of the era perfectly. This was not an album for sweeping orchestral arrangements and it was stripped back to the basics of the original jazz and blues infused of course with the Krall magic. As you listen you can imagine yourself in a smoky bar watching a couple of musicians combining voice and instrument to create an intimate atmosphere. Diana also brought her husband Elvis Costello on board for this album providing ukulele, mandolin and guitar with backing vocals on the title track Glad Rag Doll. Diana said this of their work together on the album;

‘Some people might be wary of collaborating with their spouses, but I was thrilled to be working with Elvis.’ ‘The fact that he’s my husband didn’t really enter into it. There’s no power struggle in our marriage. Once we were in the recording booth, he’d give me a wink and a smile, and we had fun. Our lives get busy at home with the children, so it was lovely to have something else to share.’

Here is the title track uploaded by Alkiviadis

Wallflower, her 12th studio album was released in February 2015 by Verve records. The album is a return to the more well-known songs in recent music history, but all of course treated to the Diana Krall interpretation. Apart from the title track Wallflower written by Bob Dylan, other composers featured were artists who had inspired Diana Krall during her career such as Elton John, Gilbert O’Sullivan and Paul McCartney who had given Diana a song after their collaboration on his album Kisses on the Bottom in 2012. If I Take You Home Tonight was left off that album and Diana had this to say about the song.

“It was so great of Paul McCartney to give me that song.There’s always a few songs that don’t make an album. Not because they aren’t great. It just happens. So, I asked him if I could have it, and he just said sure.”

As another departure Diana Krall invited fellow Canadian David Foster to join her on the album. David is CEO of Verve records but also a 16-time Grammy Winner. As a composer, arranger, musician, songwriter and record producer he has worked with some of the biggest names in the music industry. These included Alice Cooper, Celine Dion, Michael Buble, Josh Groban, Madonna and Rod Stewart. David Foster did the arrangements for Wallflower and also provided most of the piano parts which left Diana free to focus on her vocal performances.

Here is If I Take You Home Tonight written by Paul McCartney uploaded by nehoda69

This Dream of You is the fifteenth studio album by Canadian singer Diana Krall, released on September 25, 2020, by Verve Records. The album spawned two singles released in August 2020.

The album is named after Krall’s rendition of the Bob Dylan song from his album Together Through Life (2009). The release is a collection of Krall’s scores of studio recordings that she performed with her longtime producer Tommy LiPuma before his death in 2017. The dozen tracks was selected from over 30 recordings that the pair had laid down. The album was finished in May 2020 and produced by Krall herself. The “Autumn in New York” video was created to raise awareness for New York Cares, the largest volunteer organization in New York City founded in 1987.  Diana Krall 

Diana Krall has sold more than 15 million albums worldwide, including over six million in the US. On December 11, 2009, Billboard magazine named her the second greatest jazz artist of the decade (2000–2009), establishing her as one of the best-selling artists of her time.

Krall is the only jazz singer to have had eight albums debuting at the top of the Billboard Jazz Albums.[2] To date, she has won three Grammy Awards and eight Juno Awards. She has also earned nine gold, three platinum, and seven multi-platinum albums.

I will leave you with a last quote from Diana Krall about her childhood dream of becoming an astronaut and whilst she may not have taken to this route to the stars she has certainly achieved that ambition through her music.

I built rockets and became good friends with astronauts. I played for the 40th anniversary of Apollo 13 at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum [in Washington DC]. I met Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong, and I went on the bus to Orlando with a lot of space people and watched the last launch at Cape Canaveral. It was one of the most awesome things in my life. I love to ride horses though I’m not very good, but I love to ride Western-style, down the beach. Two of the few things in life outside music that make me feel freest are skiing and swimming in the cold. I went skiing recently in Dubai. That’s how hardcore I am.”

I hope that you have enjoyed this series on this incredible and very beautiful musician. If you have not listened to Diana Krall before then I hope that it has introduced her unique voice and musical gifts to your attention.

Buy Diana Krall Music: Amazon

Find out more about Diana Krall and where you can see her on tour: Diana Krall Website and Tours

Other sources: Wikipedia

William Price King is an American jazz singer, crooner, and composer.

His interest in music began at an early age when he studied piano and clarinet in high school. At Morehouse College in Atlanta where he grew up, he sang in the Glee Club and studied classical music. After graduation he went off to the Yale School of Music where he earned a Masters degree. From there he journeyed to New York where he created a jazz trio ‘Au Naturel’ which performed in some of the hottest venues in Manhattan including gigs on Broadway and the famous ‘Rainbow Room.’ These gigs opened doors for performances in Montreal and a European tour.

While touring Europe he met a lovely French lady, Jeanne Maïstre, who, a year later became his wife. King left the group ‘Au Naturel’ and settled in the south of France where he started a new life on the French Riviera, opening his own music school – the “Price King Ecole Internationale de Chant.” He has had the pleasure over the years of seeing many of his students excel as singers on a professional level, and some going on to become national celebrities. He continues to coach young singers today, in his spare time.

Blog– IMPROVISATION William Price King on Tumblr – Buy William’s music: William Price King iTunes – FacebookWilliam Price King – Twitter@wpkofficial
Regular Venue – Cave Wilson


As always William would love to receive your feedback… thanks Sally.


Smorgasbord Laughter Lines Extra – Another Open Mic Night with author Daniel Kemp – May 2023 – Facebook Friends and Orchestral manoeuvres

Author Daniel Kemp has been entertaining us over the last three years with his funnies on his Facebook page and head over to follow Danny Kemp  .. Always a place to find funnies and jokes to cheer you up… plus some satirical political commentary on politicians at home and abroad.

An Australian Army Recruit sends home a letter..

Dear Mum & Dad,

I am well. Hope youse are too. Tell me big brothers Doug and Phil that the Army is better than workin’ on the farm – tell them to get in quick smart before the jobs are all gone! I wuz a bit slow in settling down at first, because ya don’t hafta get outta bed until 6am. But I like sleeping in now, cuz all ya gotta do before brekky is make ya bed and shine ya boots and clean ya uniform. No cows to milk, no calves to feed, no feed to stack – nothin’!! Ya haz gotta shower though, but its not so bad, coz there’s lotsa hot water and even a light to see what ya doing!

At brekky ya get cereal, fruit and eggs but there’s no kangaroo steaks or possum stew like wot Mum makes. You don’t get fed again until noon and by that time all the city boys are dead because we’ve been on a ’route march’ – geez its only just like walking to the windmill in the back paddock!!

This one will kill me brothers Doug and Phil with laughter. I keep getting medals for shootin’ – dunno why. The bullseye is as big as a possum’s bum and it don’t move and it’s not firing back at ya like the Johnsons did when our big scrubber bull got into their prize cows before the Ekka last year! All ya gotta do is make yourself comfortable and hit the target! You don’t even load your own cartridges, they comes in little boxes, and ya don’t have to steady yourself against the rollbar of the roo shooting truck when you reload!

Sometimes ya gotta wrestle with the city boys and I gotta be real careful coz they break easy – it’s not like fighting with Doug and Phil and Jack and Boori and Steve and Muzza all at once like we do at home after the muster.

Turns out I’m not a bad boxer either and it looks like I’m the best the platoon’s got, and I’ve only been beaten by this one bloke from the Engineers – he’s 6 foot 5 and 15 stone and three pick handles across the shoulders and as ya know I’m only 5 foot 7 and eight stone wringin’ wet, but I fought him till the other blokes carried me off to the boozer.

I can’t complain about the Army – tell the boys to get in quick before word gets around how good it is.

Your loving daughter,

A helping hand

Don’t all faint at the same time— please.—–

Olaf the Norseman is shopping at a supermarket when he comes across an old lady in a wheelchair, almost in tears.

“What’s the matter?” asks Olaf.

“Oh,” sobs the old lady. “I want to have a look at the frozen puddings but, as you can see, there are three steps down into the chiller cabinets.”

“No problem,” says Olaf, lifting her onto his back. “I’ll take you.”

Olaf strolls through the chiller cabinets with the old lady on his back. She selects several puddings and puts them in the basket he is carrying for her.

At the other end, the old lady’s husband is waiting with her wheelchair.

“I’d really like to thank you,” says the old lady as Olaf sets her back down in the chair, “but I don’t even know who you are!”

Olaf just waves and walks off.

“I was really worried about you,” says the old lady’s husband. “What have you been doing?”

She replies, “Well, I’ve been through the desserts on a Norse with no name.”

I did warn you!

Orchestral manoeuvres

He was a mediocre conductor of a mediocre orchestra. He had been having problems with the basses; they were the least professional of his musicians.

It was the last performance of the season, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, which required extra effort from the basses at the end.

Earlier that evening, he found the basses celebrating one of their birthdays by passing a bottle around. As he was about to cue the basses, he knocked over his music stand.

The sheet music scattered. As he stood in front of his orchestra, his worst fear was realized; it was the bottom of the 9th, no score and the basses were loaded.

My thanks to Danny for allowing me to raid his Facebook: Danny Kemp

About Daniel Kemp

Daniel Kemp, ex-London police officer, mini-cab business owner, pub tenant and licensed London taxi driver never planned to be a writer, but after his first novel –The Desolate Garden — was under a paid option to become a $30 million film for five years until distribution became an insurmountable problem for the production company what else could he do?

In May 2018 his book What Happened In Vienna, Jack? became a number one bestseller on four separate Amazon sites: America, UK, Canada, and Australia.

Although it’s true to say that he mainly concentrates on what he knows best; murders laced by the mystery involving spies, his diverse experience of life shows in the short stories he writes, namely: Why? A Complicated Love, and the intriguing story titled The Story That Had No Beginning.

He is the recipient of rave reviews from a prestigious Manhattan publication, been described as –the new Graham Green — by a managerial employee of Waterstones Books, for whom he did a countrywide tour of signing events, and he has appeared on ‘live’ television in the UK.

A selection of books by Daniel Kemp

Read the reviews and buy the books also in audio: Amazon UK – And : Amazon US – follow Daniel: Goodreads – Website: Author Danny Kemp – Facebook: Books by Daniel – Twitter:@danielkemp6


Thank you for dropping in today and I hope it has make a good start to your weekend…thanks Sally.


Smorgasbord Book Promotions – New Book on the Shelves – #Crime #Alzheimer’s The Lilac Notebook by Carol Balawyder

Delighted to share the news of the latest release by Carol Balawyder – a crime thriller The Lilac Notebook.

About the book

Three university friends. One in the early stages of Alzheimer’s, another out for revenge and a third murdered.

Holly Baranov is in the beginning stages of fast advancing Alzheimer’s at 40. Unwilling to care for her, Holly’s husband leaves her. While frightened to be on her own, Holly is relieved to be freed from the clutches of a controlling husband.
She moves out of her large home in the middle-class west end section of Montreal and into a small apartment near McGill University where she enrols in a poetry course in the hopes of stimulating her brain.

There she meets Kim Harris, a thirty-something beautiful but damaged law student and Amelia Rose, a twenty-year-old pole dancer in a seedy nightclub who wants nothing more than to graduate, teach high school, marry and raise a family. Both Kim and Amelia were victims of incest, though each see her perpetrator differently. Kim chose law so as to right the justice she was denied while Amelia is angry at the justice system for separating her from a flawed father who was nonetheless her whole world.

When Amelia is found strangled in her apartment, Holly becomes involved in the investigation, both as prime suspect and as a means to defend herself.
Detective Alice Vireovich and her rookie partner, Detective Dan Cardoni, currently investigating the murders of two middle aged men, are also tasked with investigating Amelia’s murder: They come to believe all three murders may be linked because of a Van Gogh Starry Night postcard found at the scene of all three crimes.

Holly’s health worsens quickly. She is transferred to a support facility. Along with her fading memory, Holly is also losing her ability to speak and write. She is uncertain whether she killed Amelia as her friend Kim, ex-husband Roy and the police suspect.

A niece (whom Holly doesn’t recognize and whose motives she distrusts for suddenly wanting to help her) visits Holly regularly and reads Holly’s notes about Amelia’s investigation. This eventually leads the investigation away from her as they seem to implicate Kim.

Kim’s law teacher at McGill agrees to take on the case pro bono, motivated by her interest in litigating whether damaging effects of childhood abuse pose the question whether murder can ever be justified in such cases.

The expanding investigation leads to more findings relating to the postcard found next to Amelia’s body, bringing into view a surprising new suspect.

An early review for the book

Lauren Scott  5.0 out of 5 stars A compelling crime novel unlike any I’ve read before! Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on May 9, 2023

The Lilac Notebook touches on three intense subjects: Alzheimer’s, Incest, and Murder. The mystery component is accompanied with the main protagonist, Holly, being diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s. Sadly, she follows in her mother’s footsteps. She’s also been married for two decades to a controlling man who can’t be burdened with her disease. So, Holly finds herself on her own, dealing with the slow declining of her mind. But she meets and befriends two women along the way; both have been abused in their childhood, but both view the abuse from opposite spectrums. And of all things to happen, Holly discovers a dead body! She loses her ability to speak and write, but she can formulate thoughts, and perseveres to the end to find the killer!

Carol Balawyder does a superb job in keeping the reader engaged until the last page. Along with telling a story that kept me on the edge of my seat, she incorporates facts about Alzheimer’s. My brother-in-law passed away years ago from this horrible disease, and even though my sister is a nurse, the effects drained her. It was heartbreaking for her to see the love of her life transform through the various phases, and it was heartbreaking for me to witness her caring for him.

Throughout this compelling murder mystery, I felt compassion for Holly, fearful for her safety, and questioned the trustworthiness of her two new friends. Other supporting characters had me wondering if they were the murderer. This book is a real nail-biter for those who enjoy crime novels, but also for anyone whose life has been intruded by Alzheimer’s. Carol inserts a plethora of information, so reading this story is a way to gain more knowledge on this disease. Highly recommended! 

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon USAnd: Amazon UK

Other books by Carol Balawyder

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Read more reviews : Goodreads – WebsiteCarol BalawyderLinkedIn: Carol Balawyder – Facebook: Carol Balawyder   

Meet Carol Balawyder

I hold an undergraduate degree with a major on English Literature and a graduate degree in Criminology. I taught Criminology in Police Technology and Corrections programs in Montreal. My area of expertise was in drug addiction and I worked in a methadone clinic with heroin addicts. I helped set up a writing workshop for women in prison and worked in halfway homes and drug rehab centers.

My short stories have appeared in Room Magazine, The Canadian Anthology of Fiction, Mindful.or, Between the Lines and Carte Blanche. I was awarded an honorary mention for a play submitted to The Canadian Playwright Competition.

I manage a blog where I write about: Women Nobel Prize Winners for Literature, Famous Writers’ Desks, Femmes Fatales, India, Book Reviews and my dog, Bau.


Thanks for dropping in today and it would be great if you could share the news of Carol’s new book.

Smorgasbord Health Column 2023 – The Body our Greatest Asset – The Circulatory System – Part Two – Common problems with blood-vessels by Sally Cronin

I have featured this series over the last ten years on a regular basis for new readers who might have joined the blog. Our bodies are are greatest asset. It has a long road ahead of if from birth, through the teen years, work life, parenthood, middle age and then into our 70s and beyond.

At every stage of our life healthy nutrition is essential to help the body develop and remain as disease free as possible. I appreciate that many of you may have read this series before, but I hope it will be a reminder of how amazing our bodies are, and simply eating the right foods, exercising moderately and not doing anything too reckless…will go a long way to enjoying later life to the full.

In this series of posts I am going to be revisiting the circulatory system pumping the life sustaining blood around the system.

The Circulatory system  PartTwo – Common health problems associated with the circulatory system.


One of the most common health issues associated with our circulatory system is high blood pressure.

If you have a blood pressure around the 120/80 mark then it is considered normal. If you are above 140/90 it is considered to be high blood pressure. There are certain conditions where it is important to keep the blood pressure lower than this, such as with diabetics, or people with kidney disease, whose blood pressure should be below 130/80.

Usually a doctor will take your blood pressure over a period of time to determine if it is continuously high or just elevated for a specific reason before prescribing medication.

When your blood pressure is high it means that the heart and the blood-vessels are working too hard, and if left untreated it can lead to heart attacks and strokes. This is particularly the case if blood pressure measures more than 160/95 all the time.

As we get older our blood vessels suffer from wear and tear like the rest of our bodies. And particular after menopause for women when our body loses the protection of our hormones.

More about the other causes for this health issue in the next few posts.

Varicose veins

As we get older our blood-vessels, as with any part of our body, begin to suffer from wear and tear. Varicose veins can appear at any time and one of the most common causes is during pregnancy when the circulatory system is put under pressure due to additional weight and the responsibility of supplying blood to the growing foetus.

The most common site for varicose veins is in the back of the calf. The veins in the legs are divided into two systems one with deep veins that run deep into the muscles and superficial veins that lie in the layer of fat close to the skin. It is the veins that you can see close to the surface that are likely to become varicose.

Veins, as we have already established, have delicate valves to prevent the blood from moving backward in the blood-vessel. If there is a defective valve the blood can drain backwards and pool in the veins nearest the skin surface, which then become swollen and painful. Because the capillaries just under the skin also become damaged, blood is unable to enrich the skin immediately above the site and this can become thin and dry leading to ulceration or varicose eczema.

Another cause of blood pooling is the damage to perforating veins that connect the deep veins to the superficial ones. If the valves in these interconnecting blood-vessels are damaged, blood rushes from the deep veins and floods the veins closer to the surface.

Apart from the valve weakening in the vein there is also a problem with the strength of the wall of the blood-vessel Collagen, which gives the elastic sheath of the vein its strength, can become depleted causing blood to pool in small pockets in the wall. This applies usually to the deep veins, which we will cover in thrombosis, but if there is a general lack of collagen it could also apply to the superficial veins nearer the skin.

Who is at risk of varicose veins?

There are a number of contributing factors to the development of varicose veins. In the Western world around 30% of women will develop the condition, particularly if they have been pregnant. It used to be that men were at a lower risk of developing varicose veins but this is changing and in a recent study more men than women were suffering from this problem.

There is evidence that the problem is mainly confined to the Western world with only 2% found in Indian women and around 5% in other women in Africa. This may lead to a conclusion that diet and lack of exercise may be a very definite contributing factor.

Age certainly plays its part as we have already stated but people who remain active into their 70’s and 80’s seem to have much better blood-vessel health in general.

There is obviously an assumption that being overweight and inactive might contribute, but research is non-committal. Since the problem is more common in pregnancy there might be a correlation between additional weight, increased blood supply to the foetus and also hormonal changes that may have an affect on vein walls. This is backed up somewhat by the fact that with more pregnancies there tend to be more varicose veins.

In studies, there is some evidence to show that people who stand on their feet all day at work might be more likely to develop varicose veins, particularly those who stand still allowing blood to pool in their legs.


An aneurysm is an abnormal swelling in an arterial wall. This can be caused by disease or by an internal injury and in some rare cases the result of a birth defect. The most common place for an aneurysm to appear is in the aorta, the main artery from the heart. The elderly can develop them further down in the abdominal aorta just below the kidneys.

An aneurysm can also develop in the brain and is called a cerebral or intracranial aneurysm. The bulge is similar to the one you would see in an inner tube or a thin balloon and they tend to form where arteries divide or branch off.

Who is at risk of an aneurysm?

There are rare incidences where a person is actually born with a small aneurysm, which then grows, causing problems in childhood and adolescence. It is far more common in older people where there are contributing factors associated with the development of the aneurysm such as arterial disease and wear and tear.

Smokers, and people suffering from high blood pressure, are also at risk and there is some indication that the risk might be hereditary.

Aneurysms can also form after trauma and surgery when internal damage may go undetected.

What are the symptoms of an aneurism?

If the aneurysm is in the lower part of the aorta, it may be several years before the condition becomes symptomatic. Different people will experience a variety of symptoms but they usually include a pulsating feeling in the abdomen, abdominal pain and back pain.

If the aortic aneurysm gets too large it can rupture, causing agony in the abdomen and the back and obviously leading to internal bleeding.

If the aneurysm is higher up in the aorta in the chest area other symptoms will be present including pain in the upper back, coughing and wheezing and difficulty swallowing.

The person suffering from this type of aneurysm may also exhibit symptoms of Horner’s syndrome, where one side of the face suffers from a drooping eyelid, constricted pupil and dry skin.

A brain aneurysm is usually accompanied by severe headaches and in some cases nausea and vomiting, stiff neck or neck pain, blurred vision or double vision, pain above and behind the eyes, dilated pupils, sensitivity to light and loss of feeling in some areas of the body.


A Thrombosis is a blood clot that forms in either a vein or artery, preventing the normal circulation of blood. This is often a result of hardened arteries, or atherosclerosis, when fatty deposits (plaque) has lined the blood-vessel narrowing and constricting blood flow.

This can occur in various parts of the body and can be life threatening. The most common cause of strokes is a thrombosis in the arteries supplying the brain.

There has been a great deal of concern in recent years with the incidences of DVT or Deep Vein Thrombosis and increased air travel. The risk appears to be associated with passengers who sit for an extended period of time and air travel is not the only culprit as long journeys in cars, trains and coaches can also cause the problem.

The DVT usually forms in the calf muscles and you would experience an extreme pain in that area. This can happen days or even weeks after a trip so do not assume that you are not at risk and seek medical attention immediately.

Who is at risk?

There is still not a great deal of research into who is more susceptible to a DVT but there are indications that there are factors that increase the risk.

  • Immobility for extended periods of time in any form of travel or even sitting constantly in the office or home.
  • Recent leg surgery.
  • Obesity
  • Existing clotting problems.
  • Varicose veins.
  • Hormones, including during pregnancy.
  • Heart problems
  • Existing vascular problems such as high blood pressure.
  • Dehydration.

How can you reduce the risk of developing a DVT?

If you are planning on taking a trip and you are in any of the risk categories then you should consult your doctor first before booking.

  • Once on your trip you should try and exercise once an hour for 10 minutes or so by rotating your ankles and exercising the calf muscles by walking around the plane or if that is not possible massaging upward from the ankles to the knees.
  • There are some products on the market that may help. In-flight stockings and socks have become more widely available. These stockings do not restrict circulation but increase blood flow to the lower legs.
  • Wear comfortable clothing and do not wear very tight trousers or corsets for travelling that may restrict blood flow. Changes in pressure at altitude can also increase the gas in your body causing it to expand making restrictive clothing not only uncomfortable but possibly dangerous too.
  • Avoid drinking tea, coffee and alcohol as all these can dehydrate your body. Make sure that you drink plenty of water before and during any extended travel.


An embolism occurs when particles dislodge from one area in the body and travel in the bloodstream to another point where they can form a blood clot leading to a thrombosis. The embolism could be made up of a variety of substances fatty debris, cholesterol, and debris from internal damage to bones etc. If an embolism lodges in a main artery, particularly the pulmonary artery, it can be fatal.

There are a number of risk factors involved that can result in an embolism, including:

  • Bed rest following a stroke, broken bone, or spinal cord injury allowing clots to form in the arms and the legs.
  • Trauma and injury to the legs,
  • Recent surgery
  • Obesity
  • Heart disease (particular where there is an irregular heartbeat),
  • Burn damage
  • Pregnancy
  • Cancer
  • Hormonal therapy.

What sort of symptoms are associated with an embolism?

As with the other blood-vessel problems, you may not experience symptoms immediately.

Certainly any pain in the calf muscles of the legs that is not associated with recent excessive activity should be taken seriously.

If the embolism reaches the pulmonary artery you will experience a sharp, stabbing pain in the chest which becomes worse if you take a deep breath. You will be short of breath and feel as though you are having an anxiety attack. You may start to cough and sweat and finally pass out.

Seek medical attention immediately and as this can be difficult to diagnose, knowing the symptoms and being able to describe them will be vital to speedy treatment.

How can we take care of our blood-vessels?

We have now covered a number of conditions that are related to the health of our blood-vessels. Reducing the amount of the less healthy cholesterol types and high blood pressure are a very good start and making healthy dietary choices is essential.

There are a number of vitamins and minerals that are very important in maintaining the health of the individual blood-vessels including Vitamin C which is essential to maintain and repair the collagen that forms the elastic sheath surrounding the veins and arteries.

Vitamin B3 helps dilate blood-vessels and Vitamin E, K2 and essential fatty acids prevent the blood from becoming too thick.

Fibre in the diet will help remove debris and plaque from the walls of the blood-vessels as will a regular exercise programme.

Next time…I will be sharing the healthy eating plan that may help to maintain the health of the whole circulatory system.

©sally cronin Just Food for Health 1998 – 2023

A little bit about me nutritionally. .

About Sally Cronin

I am a qualified nutritional therapist with twenty-four years experience working with clients in Ireland and the UK as well as being a health consultant on radio in Spain.

Although I write a lot of fiction, I actually wrote my first two books on health, the first one, Size Matters, a weight loss programme 21 years ago, based on my own weight loss of 154lbs. My first clinic was in Ireland, the Cronin Diet Advisory Centre and my second book, Just Food for Health was written as my client’s workbook. Since then I have written a men’s health manual, and anti-aging programme, articles for magazines, radio programmes and posts here on Smorgasbord.

You can buy my books from: Amazon US – and: Amazon UK – Follow me :Goodreads – Twitter: @sgc58 – Facebook: Sally Cronin – LinkedIn: Sally Cronin


Thanks reading and I hope you will join me again next week…Sally.


Smorgasbord Book Promotions – Meet the Authors 2023 – #Mystery #Paranormal D.L. Finn, #Malaysia #WWII Apple Gidley, #Supernatural #Adventure John W. Howell

Welcome to the 2023 series of meet the authors. This series offers me the opportunity to not just share my personal recommendation for the author, but to also check for new books I might have missed, changes to biographies and profile photos and check links.

I also I hope will introduce you to previously unknown authors to you and their books. As the curator of a towering TBR like most of you, I hope it will also encourage you to move books waiting in line up the queue.

The first author today is D.L Finn who writes poetry and stories that are heartwarming and have elements that surprise and delight.

Meet D.L. Finn

D.L. Finn is an independent California local who encourages everyone to embrace their inner child. She was born and raised in the foggy Bay Area, but in 1990 relocated with her husband, kids, dogs, and cats to the Sierra foothills in Nevada City, CA. She immersed herself in reading all types of books, but especially loved romance, horror, and fantasy. She always treasured creating her own reality on paper. Finally, being surrounded by towering pines, oaks, and cedars, her creativity was nurtured until it bloomed. Her creations vary from children’s books, young adult fantasy, and adult paranormal romance to an autobiography with poetry. She continues on her adventures with an open invitation for her readers to join her.

A selection of books by D.L. Finn

My review for A Voice in the Darkness

This is a brilliantly crafted mystery thriller with intriguing paranormal and other unworldly elements that will delight and keep you on the edge of your seat.

It was great to be introduced to more mature lead actors in this fast paced story as Drea comes to terms with her loss and struggles with the detachment from both family and old friends. Isolated and unsure of the future she welcomes three stray animals in from the cold. Their origins are cloaked in mystery, and as she discovers more about their previous lives, she becomes emotionally and physically drawn into their battle for survival.

The author has created wonderful characters, both human and otherwise, as well as chilling and atmospheric scenes, as the drama plays out in the snow covered landscape. There is danger as a serial killer targets women in the area and other unseen forces seek to harm her fur family. There are heart-stopping moments as the threats move ever closer despite the best efforts of an old and trusted friend of the family and a ghostly presence who brings chilling warnings.

I really admired Brea for her determination not to buckle under the threat and to make a stand against those who wish her and those she loves harm. It was also wonderful to share in her growing and intriguing relationship with the dog, cat and rat who have sought sanctuary with her, and how even when it seems all love is lost, a romantic spark brings hope for the future.

The story races towards a live or die climax as all the elements from this world and beyond come together in the battle for survival.

Emotionally engaging and exciting this was a wonderful cross genre read that I can highly recommend.

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Follow D.L. Finn: Goodreads – Connect to D.L. Finn – Website: D.L. Finn Author – Facebook: D.L. Finn Author – Twitter: @dlfinnauthor

The next author today is Apple Gidley whose novel Have you Eaten Rice Today? took my breath away.

Meet Apple Gidley

Apple Gidley, an Anglo-Australian author, whose life has been spent absorbing countries and cultures, considers herself a global nomad. When not on St Croix in the US Virgin Islands, she can be found in Houston, Texas.

She has moved 27 times, and has called twelve countries home (Nigeria, England, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, Papua New Guinea, The Netherlands, Trinidad and Tobago, Thailand, Scotland, USA, Equatorial Guinea), and her experiences are described in her first book, Expat Life Slice by Slice (Summertime 2012).

Her roles have been varied – from magazine editor to intercultural trainer to Her Britannic Majesty’s Honorary Consul. Now writing full time, Apple evocatively portrays peoples and places with empathy and humour, whether writing essays, short stories or full-length fiction.

She shares her writing space with Bonnie, a stray cat who spreads across her keyboard, and Stan, a stray dog who keeps her feet warm in the tropics!

Fireburn (OC Publishing 2017), historical fiction set in the Danish West Indies of the 1870s (now the US Virgin Islands) was followed by the sequel Transfer (OC Publishing 2019). Crucian Fusion, a book of fact and fiction about St Croix in the USVI was published in the Fall, 2021. Apple’s latest novel, released by Vine Leaves Press (Sept 2022), is a dual-time story set in Malaya of the 1950s and modern day Malaysia, England and Australia.

Her WIP is a contemporary novel set in Venice, and she is researching her next historical fiction to be based WWII Papua New Guinea.

Books by Apple Gidley

My review Have you Eaten Rice Today?

This is a book I found difficult to put down. Excellently written with memorable characters faced with the dangers of guerrilla warfare, interlaced with a once in a lifetime romance.

There are many books and films written about World War Two, but few about the conflict in Malaya from the late forties and throughout the fifties. A time of a rejection of colonial administration in India echoed around the British outposts, and before the advent of worldwide broadcasting and the Internet, the public was dependent on newspaper articles based on official statements that were veiled in secrecy.

The author lived in Malaya as a child, and clearly absorbed both culture and language which provided an authentic and fascinating background to the story. Well researched, the activities of the Ferret Force and the local Malay and Chinese who supported them, offered heart stopping action as they moved through dense jungle, battling the natural elements and diseases, as well as the communist activists hiding in its depths. Without modern communications and only carrying the barest of supplies, young men and women put their lives on the line, often for just scraps of vital information.

Those civilians living on plantations, or working within the interim government preparing for independence were also in great danger of reprisals. This included Dee Cunningham in her role as a Red Cross nurse, moving along the rivers to bring aid to villagers along the edge of the jungle. Her upbringing in the outback of Australia definitely gave her remarkable resilience even under extreme pressure and danger. Simon and his unwillingness to settle back into the life on a farm in Dorset, and determination to work towards bringing peace to the region even at the risk to his own life, is the perfect match for her spirited personality.

The romance was beautifully choreographed and written against the backdrop, of not just the jungle and its dangers, but the stunning scenery along the coast and in the mountains.

Just when you begin to wonder where this story will lead we are time shifted 60 years to 2010.

There is now a younger generation eager to find their place in the world and part of that journey will involve their discovery of the past and revelations that will change their lives forever. We return to Malaya to bring all the threads together in a wonderful climax to the story in the hands of a master storyteller. There were times when I was reminded of the writing of Pearl S. Buck and Nevil Shute, two of my favourite authors.

I can highly recommend this book to everyone who loves well written modern history novels and heart-warming love stories. 

Read the reviews and buy the books : Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – follow Apple: Goodreads – Blog:Apple Gidley WordPress – Twitter: @ExpatApple

And the final author today is John W. Howell and I have read all his books and thoroughly enjoyed them all, including his latest The Last Drive.

Meet John Howell.

John began his writing as a full-time occupation after an extensive business career. His specialty is thriller fiction novels, but John also writes poetry and short stories.

His first book, My GRL, introduces the exciting adventures of the book’s central character, John J. Cannon. The second Cannon novel, His Revenge, continues the tension. The final book in the trilogy, Our Justice, launched in September 2016 concludes the thriller series. John’s fourth book Circumstances of Childhood, launched in October of 2017 tells a different thriller story of riches to rags, football, Wall Street, brotherly love, redemption, and inspiration with a touch of paranormal to keep you riveted.

The fifth book is a collaboration with the ​award-winning author, Gwen Plano titled The Contract. Heavenly bodies become concerned about the stability of the Earth and send two of their own to risk eternal salvation in order to save the planet. The Contract achieved number one status in its genre.

John’s followed this with Eternal Road – The final stop and launched in September 2020. In search of their eternal home, Sam and James discover a threat to human existance. They also encounter the prince of darkness. The question is; can they save humankind and their eternal souls. His most recent book The Last Drive continues their adventure. All books are available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions.

John lives in Lakeway, Texas with his wife and their spoiled rescue pets.
Books by John Howell

My review for The Last Drive

Having read Eternal Road I was eagerly anticipating the sequel The Last Drive and loved it.

You do need to buckle up for this road trip, not just of a lifetime, but several lifetimes, as Sam and James reunite for a mission to save the missing soul of military pilot Ryan, lost in time, along with his idol flying legend Eddie Rickenbacker.  Time is of the essence, as the malicious involvement of the devil is believed to be behind their status, and that can never be a good thing.

The characters of Sam and James were well established in the first book and it was easy to pick up their close relationship. The author does a great job in bringing the two missing souls and the evil, crude and manipulative devil together, for an adventure that spans hundreds of years from Ancient Rome to present day.

The places and times where they find themselves, were not known for peace and harmony, and often portrayed mankind at its worst, but also in some cases at their best. They are times in history that most of us are familiar with, but we are taken backstage to the events, to focus on the people involved, often as they too, like the heroes, face their final journey.

The theme of good versus evil runs through the story with imagined intereactions between those fighting on either side. The reader is invited in to spectate, and also consider, how closely these two divisions are aligned, and are often present together during the most pivotal moments in our history. It makes for fascinating reading.

It is a fast faced thriller with excellent characters, including the Prince of Darkness, who is dispicable as he should be. There are some scenes where you might be tempted to look away from, as they underline the evil men do, however the author handles these situations very well. Also his wry humour threads its way through the story, lifting the darker side of the narrative and adding a wonderful element to the reading enjoyment.

I can recommend this book to fans of John W. Howell. and those who enjoy an excellent thriller with compelling characters.

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon USand on: Amazon UK – Goodreads:John Howell Goodreads Blog: John W. Howell. com – Twitter@HowellWave


Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will be leaving with some books.. Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Carol Taylor’s – Culinary A – Z Rewind – X,Y,Z for Xawaash Spice, Yams and Zabaglione.

Welcome to a repeat of the series from Carol Taylor, the wonderful Culinary A – Z and a reminder, not only of the amazing variety of food we have available to us today from around the world, but delicious recipes to showcase them. Carol also introduces to cooking methods and kitchen equipment that assist in creating meals for all occasions.

Welcome once again to Carols Cooking Column and today in the last post in my culinary trawl we have the letters X, Y and Z.

Xawaash Spice Mix.

Xawaash (pronounced Hawash) comes from the Arabic word Hawa’ij (حوائج). Hawa’ij can be translated as ‘requirements’ or ‘essentials.

For example, there are the essential accompaniments for Arabic coffee, Hawa’ij al-Qawra (حوائج القهوة). The Hawa’ij spice mix is believed to have originated in Yemen.
In the southern regions of Somalia, Xawaash refers to the spice mix that is added to savoury dishes: meats, stews, soups, etc. However, in the northern parts of Somalia, Xawaash is used in a broader sense and it refers to any spice mix, even the spices that are added to tea and coffee.

Keep in mind that the types of spices used and their proportions are not cast in stone. There are regional variations dictated by personal taste as well as the availability of certain spices.

The use of the aromatic Xawaash is what gives Somali food its unique character and flavour.

Xanthan Gum.

This is a common food additive used by food manufacturers as a thickening agent and stabilizer to stop ingredients from separating. Asynthetic thickener I have often seen it in recipes lately but not something I have used…Have you?

Xeres Vinegar.

Commonly known as Sherry vinegar…whisked into a vinaigrette, used in a marinade or adda splash to your homemade soup.


Or cactus fruit a cousin of the prickly pear. The bright red centre of the Xoconostle cactus fruit has a few dozen, small edible seeds that have an appearance similar to the seeds of passion fruit. The flavour is described as complex with a sour tang and an acidic finish.


A small fruit, only about 1 1/4 inches (3 cm) long. It will ripen to orange, or red with white spots, or yellow, depending on the diversity. The Ethiopian variety goes yellow. There will be 1 seed in every fruit. The pulp is sour and tart. Birds also love this fruit. Known as a powerful healthy fruit it is packed with Vitamin C as well as Vitamin E, phosphorus, fiber, carbs, starches, magnesium, calcium, and lots of protein too. The stems, bark, and leaves of the tree also contain lots of natural steroids that may be used in the future for treating diseases such as cardiovascular disease and strokes. New studies are underway.

Photo credit: berniedup on Visual hunt / CC BY-SA

In traditional medicine, the bark is used to treat oral infections and toothache… It is also commonly known as tallowwood, hog plum, yellow plum, sea lemon, or pi’ut (Chamorro), it is a small sprawling tree native to the tropics, a sour plum found in South-East Africa also a related species grows in the Western United States.


Quite simply are the popular bao buns which is a type of Chinese steamed bun from the Jiangnan region, especially associated with Shanghai and Wuxi. They are made from either leavened or unleaved dough with minced pork or another meat filling.

Xxx or xxxx confectioners sugar.

Finely ground it comes in different grades as above…during industrial manufacturing it is used when a quick dissolving sugar is required. Home cooks use it to make frosting and other cake decorations. The greater number of X’s the finer the particles of sugar are.


These are an edible tuber…cultivated in many temperate and tropical regions around the world? They are native to Africa, Asia, and the Americas. The skins vary in colour from dark brown to light pink. The majority of the vegetable is composed of a much softer substance known as the “meat”. This “meat” ranges in colour from white or yellow to purple or pink in mature yams.

Yams are a relatively low-protein food, yam is not a good source of essential amino acids. Experts emphasize the need to supplement a yam-dominant diet with more protein-rich foods to support healthy growth in children. Although often in the poorer countries this does not happen.

Yam is an important dietary element for Nigerian and West African people. It contributes more than 200 calories per person per day for more than 150 million people in West Africa and is an important source of income. Yam is an attractive crop in poor farms with limited resources. It is rich in starch and can be prepared in many ways. It is available all year round, unlike other, unreliable, seasonal crops. These characteristics make yam a preferred food and a culturally important food security crop in some sub-Saharan African countries.

Yard long beans.


A bean which is used here in Thailand and a staple in my kitchen for stir fries. More often found as a green bean on occassions they can be red which I like very much I love my purples.


It is a Japanese sweet similar to Turkish Delight…which is a favourite of mine and generally a treat at Christmas.


The first known yeast was some hundreds of millions of years ago. There are some 1,500 different species that are currently recognized. Most of us know that yeast is used in baking, winemaking, and brewing.

Yeast is a single-celled microorganism that is classified, along with molds and mushrooms, as members of the Kingdom Fungi. It is also the subject of much research.

Yellowtail Fish.

The Yellow Tail fish or Amber Jack is native to the North East Pacific from Japan to Hawaii. It is also not related to the Yellowtail Tuna.

In Japan, this fish is eaten cooked or raw and known as Hamachi or Buri…For further info and the recipe for the fish …

Yellow split peas.

A type of field pea grown for drying…the Indian name is Chana Dal…Yellow and green split peas are interchangeable …like lentils split peas to not have to be soaked before cooking like beans.

Yerba Buena.

Yerba Buena or Hierba Buena is the Spanish name for a number of aromatic plants, most of which belong to the mint family.

Yorkshire Pudding.

Roast beef is traditionally eaten with Yorkshire Puddings…Traditionally eaten before the meal with gravy they served to fill the tummy so less meat was required. A British culinary dish the Yorkshire is often served with other meats as a Sunday Roast…Cooked with sausages it is known as Toad in the Hole …

Made with eggs, flour and milk/water any leftovers were then eaten with jam another way to fill a grumbling tummy.

Yu Choy.

One of my favourite vegetables Yu Choy has little yellow flowers the leaves, stems and flowers are all edible and are crunchy, tender with a sweet, green taste similar to baby spinach.


A Middle Eastern spice blend …this aromatic spice blend has been around for ages, but the recent surge in popularity of Mediterranean foods and flavours has sent the demand for this bold blend through the roof. And as the spice grows in popularity in mainstream culture, it’s gearing up to become the next everything bagel seasoning: sprinkled on just about everything by just about everyone to make dishes instantly ten-times tastier.


An Italian dessert or sometimes served as a beverage this light custard is whipped to incorporate a large amount of air…made with egg yolks, sugar and a sweet wine or a nice cognac.

Like the choice of alcohol the name also varies …zabaione in the North and zabaglione in the South of Italy.


Doesn’t the zest of citrus fruits just liven up your cooking? As a garnish, in baking, it just adds that extra zing.


Is a variety of black skinned wine grape…the wine produced is a bold fruit forward red wine loved for its fruit flavour and smoky exotic spice notes…


Popular in French cuisine it is a sauce made from chopped ham, tongue, mushrooms and truffles combined with tomato sauce, tarragon and sometimes Madeira wine. Additional ingredients may include white wine, cayenne pepper, lemon juice, and orange rind. It is also known by the name of gypsy sauce…


I have always called it courgette which is the British/ English name whereas Zucchini is the American/English name…Classed as a summer squash it is harvested when the skins are soft and immature as the skins harden and it grows in size, I know it as the Marrow…

Very popular now and cooked in many ways …It can be baked, stuffed made into zoodles and used as a healthier answer to pasta…It can be used in baking bread, cookies, shaved in salads or rolled with veggies or prawns.


A type of crisp, sweetened twice baked rusk popular in Europe and Scandinavian countries. There are two types one resembles melba toasts and the second type is made by pinching round pieces of dough, placing ne piece on top of the other and pressed together by pushing a finger down through both pieces then baked and served as warm soft rolls

Thank you for reading I hope you have enjoyed this little trip through the Culinary alphabet…Happy Eating

About Carol Taylor

Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.

I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetables ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.

Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use have to improve our health and wellbeing.

Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology: Amazon US

Connect to Carol – Blog: Carol Cooks 2 – Twitter: @CarolCooksTwo – Facebook: Carol Taylor


My thanks to Carol for creating this wonderful series and we hope that you have enjoyed. As always we are delighted to receive your feedback and if you could share that would be great.. thanks Sally.


Smorgasbord Funnies 2023 – Hosts Sally Cronin and Debby Gies – Petty Theft and paraprosdokians

Firstly, some funnies foraged from the web from Debby Gies – D.G. Writes is where you will find an archive full of wonderful posts across several subjects including writing tips, social issues and book reviews.


My thanks to Debby  for expert foraging…

D. G. Kaye – Buy: Amazon US And: Amazon UK Blog: D.G. WritesGoodreads: D.G. Kaye on Goodreads – Twitter: @pokercubster

Debby’s latest post in her series Spiritual Awareness. Soul Mates and Life Partners

Now something from Sally’s Joke book archives….

This was sent to me by my sister Diana….

A paraprosdokian is a sentence or statement with an unexpected ending. It means “against expectations” in Greek.

Will glass coffins be a success? Remains to be seen.

What’s the difference between a hippo and a zippo? One is really heavy and the other is a little lighter.

Hear about the new restaurant called Karma There’s no menu – you get what you deserve.

I went to buy some camouflage trousers yesterday, but couldn’t find any

What do you call a bee that can’t make up its mind? A maybe.

I tried to sue the airline for losing my luggage. I lost my case.

Is it ignorance or apathy that’s destroying the world today? I don’t know and I don’t care.

I wasn’t originally going to get a brain transplant, but then I changed my mind.

Which country’s capital has the fastest-growing population? Ireland. Every day it’s Dublin.

I saw an ad for burial plots, and I thought: “That’s the last thing I need!”

Need an ark? I Noah guy.

You’re not completely useless, you can always serve as a bad example.

I broke my finger last week. On the other hand, I’m okay.

Don’t spell part backwards. It’s a trap.

Did you hear about the guy who got hit in the head with a can of soda? He was lucky it was a soft drink.

To the mathematician who thought of the idea of zero. Thanks for nothing!

Son: “Dad, can you tell me what a solar eclipse is?” Dad: “No sun.”

 We hope you are leaving with a smile on your face… thanks Sally and Debby.



Smorgasbord Posts from My Archives – Something to think about – The R’s of Life – Rejection – A Fact of Life Part One by Sally Cronin

In January 2016 I began a series that I was intending to publish as a book but instead I shared on the blog in a series four years ago and I hope new readers to the blog will enjoy reading.

The R’s of Life by Sally Cronin

The title came about as I dipped into a Thesaurus to find some words for a poem I was writing. I noticed that a great many words that reflected  key elements in our lives began with the letter ‘R’.

Last time I explored our expectations about romance and some of the ups and downs we might experience, including this week rejection.

  Rejection – A Fact of Life

Free No Rubber Stamp photo and picture

One of life’s certainties is that at some point you are going to be rejected personally or professionally. It can happen at any age and because it is a certainty, it does pay to prepare for it, or if unexpected have some strategies to cope with it.

Rejection is when you are denied something you want, love, need, desire or expect.

Real life is seldom as cut and dried, and certainly less kind when it comes to rejection. This is why you have to boost your mental immune system, the one that keeps depression, despair, low self-esteem and unhappiness at bay. We are bombarded with messages about boosting our physical immune system, by eating our five a day and by avoiding antibiotics, but if you look at the headlines in the magazines and newspapers, you would be forgiven in thinking there was a conspiracy to make you emotionally and mentally deficient.

Because being made to feel that we are not slim enough, beautiful enough, rich enough, cool enough is a form of rejection. It puts us outside a relatively small segment of our society who are considered to be the ‘It’ people.

Most of us bounce back eventually from most of life’s rejections because they happen to everyone at some point. We learn hopefully that often rejection is followed by something better at least for us.. As they say.. ‘one door closes and another door opens!’

But what about the rejections that make a much deeper impact on us at the time or throughout our lives. The rejections that can often take place before we are born resulting in a decision that leaves a child always wondering what they did wrong!

One of the first rejections a child has to face is one that cannot be prepared for and which can effect you for the rest of your life.

Free Hand Children photo and picture

The one form of acceptance we should all have a right to expect is that our birth mother is not going to reject us. Unfortunately, not every birth is planned or welcomed especially if the mother is very young or in desperate circumstances. This leads to babies being put up for adoption into families who are ready and prepared for the responsibility of parenthood.

Believe it or not, adoptions for that reason are way down on where they were in the 1970s and 1980s, when there was little family planning advice or available contraceptives such as the pill.

If a young woman became pregnant up until fairly recently, it was considered shameful. Many were sent off to maternity homes where their babies were taken from them immediately as the only option open to them if they wished to remain part of society. I can remember at 16 being told in no uncertain terms, that if I became pregnant, I would be shown the door and left to my own devices… Certainly made me think twice about getting up to mischief.

Today there are a number of options available to someone who finds themselves pregnant and in most of our western countries, a welfare state to support the mother.

However, it takes two to conceive, but if the man is not willing to accept responsibility, he is the first to reject the child even before it is born. I have very strong feelings about this, as I believe that even if a couple are not together, the father should bear some of the burden of caring for the baby. It should not be a case of sow your seed and scatter!

Of course there are occasions when the mother may be uncertain of the identity of the father and that is extremely sad.

Although newborn adoption rates are way down, the number of children taken into foster care is increasing. The fact is that not every mother and father, single or otherwise, is prepared or able to bring up a child or children. Whilst the majority of children in the state’s care have been removed from a parent for one reason or another, their time within the system is still a form of rejection. By a society who feels that they are not worthy of adopting, mainly because it is newborn and toddlers who are the preferred age group.

“The number of children in care has reached a record high, with 90 young people entering the care system each day, figures show.

Amid ongoing cuts to children’s centres and local family support services, the number of looked-after children in England and Wales reached 72,670 in the 12 months to March 2017 – marking the biggest annual surge of children in care in seven years.

Campaigners said the figures highlight the urgent need for the Chancellor to use his Autumn Budget next month to address the £2bn funding gap facing children’s services by 2020, or place a growing number of children at risk”  The Independent

And thank goodness for the thousands of wonderful foster parents out there who devote their lives to taking children in and giving them love and a sense of family. Of course there are the occasional negative stories about life in a foster family, but in reality they are few and far between. However, a child in foster care often faces a lifetime of doubt and a sense of disconnection from others who grew up with birth parents.

Free Hand World photo and picture

The estimated number Of Orphans In The World

  • It is estimated that there are over 100 million orphans worldwide (UNICEF).1 To give you an idea of the enormity of the numbers compare it with the population of the United States which is just a little over 325 million; or the current population of Russia -145 million. Over 100 million children would equal the combined populations of New York City, Los Angles, Chicago and 47 other of the largest cities in the USA, plus the combined populations of Ireland, Norway, Denmark, France, Greece Nicaragua and Costa Rica. These are not just numbers and statistics, these are CHILDREN! – distressed, struggling and with little hope in the world.
  • According to UNICEF, almost 5700 children become orphans every day due to war, natural disaster, poverty, disease, stigma and medical needs.
  • According to the World Health Organization (WHO), in 2017, 15,000 children under the age of 5 died every day; that is equivalent to 1 child every 17 seconds. 2.7 million children die every year in the first month of life.
  • Every 15 seconds, another child becomes an AIDS orphan in Africa
  • 60% of orphan girls will become victims of the sex trade. 10-15% or orphan children will commit suicide before age 18. 70% of orphan boys in Eastern Europe will become criminals.
  • 250,000 children are adopted annually but 14,050,000 orphan children will grow up and age out of the orphan care system without ever having been part of a loving family. That means that every day 38,493 children will age out of an orphanage.2 That’s one orphan every 2.2 seconds who will leave an orphanage or foster care with no family to belong to and no place to call home. Less than 1% of all orphan children will be adopted. Who will care for the rest of the millions of orphaned, abandoned and homeless children?  Orphans LifeLine Organisation

However a child is separated from its mother, there is going to be a sense of rejection and abandonment. There can be acceptance as a child that you are with a loving adoptive family or part of a group in a foster home, but it also brings questions that may never be answered.

  • Who was my mother?
  • Who was my father?
  • What are my origins?
  • Where did I come from?
  • Do I have brothers and sisters?
  • Why did my mother give me up?

In many countries it is now possible for both birth parents and adopted children to petition for details of each other. Many children from the 1960s and 1970s have been reunited successfully, but others have often been rejected for the second time for a number of reasons; leaving the adopted child still without answers about their past and families.

Unfortunately, many thousands will never know their birth families and live with doubts and a sense of rejection all their lives. In the last few years with DNA testing sites opening the door to finding familial matches for genealogy purposes, the job of finding long lost relatives has become more of a reality.

Free Game Figure Symbolism photo and picture

Rejection by society

Another reason that children are abandoned is because they are disabled and in China for example, this is now the primary reason for a child to end up in the care system. Finding adoptive parents under these circumstances is even more challenging and many countries are not equipped to deal with long-term care of children who have to remain in the system. This leads to appalling conditions and very high mortality rates.

There have been some amazing stories recently about school children working together to support disabled classmates, especially during sporting events. These are terrific to hear about, but generally a disabled child is likely to feel outside of the group both in the classroom and playground. I produced a documentary for a Cerebral Palsy unit and visited schools where some of the centre’s children attended. The saddest thing that I saw was a ten year old boy watching from the sidelines as all his classmates played football. Not an intentional rejection but just young children being children and getting on with their lives.

Free Bullying Child photo and picture

Rejection within the birth family

Most women develop into being great mothers but some do not. Even those who plan on having a child, realise once they are mothers, that it is simply not in their make-up and behave appallingly as they resent the 24/7 job they have taken on. This is particularly so for single mothers who have made the decision to bring up their child by themselves without a strong support system in place. A young woman who finds herself isolated and with little chance of realising her expectations, and little assistance to do so. Resentment is the bedfellow of regret.

Even if a child is part of a family group they can still face rejection as they fall short of their parent’s expectations, and that rejection is very painful. It manifests itself in many ways both verbally and sometimes physically. That can undermine and determine a child’s future just as surely as if they had been dumped on the doorstep of an orphanage. In some respects even though it is not ideal, a child who is adopted is going to parents who actually want a child and accept the responsibility and give that child a loving home. There are millions of children who live with their birth families and never know that kind of security.

There are many examples of rejection where a child has very little choice about the matter.

The use of the a very important word in our vocabulary growing up.

When I was growing up I was accustomed to the word NO from a very early age. I learnt that there were certain things that I couldn’t do, say or attempt because they were either too dangerous or beyond my abilities. I was not always happy about this and it was not unknown for me to get into difficulties because I did not believe that NO meant NO. I would often find a work around that obtained the same objective. At age seven, it nearly cost me my life as I nearly drowned having defied my mother about playing on seaweed covered rocks. A good lesson that tempered my rebellious spirit somewhat.

A child pushes boundaries and it is a natural instinct. Children need to understand their limitations at a very early age otherwise it can be dangerous for them and for others.

Such as giving a firm NO to sticking their fingers into electric sockets, touching hot liquids, not running into the road and it would seem an endless list of life threatening hazards.

Free Clothes Clothing photo and picture

Back in the 1960s and 1970s there was not the money for lots of toys and to buy the latest fashions. Most clothes were home made and I also benefited from having two older sisters but like every teenager I wanted to follow the new trends. However, I went out to work part-time at 14 and from that time on I was responsible for buying my own clothes and paying for my recreation. Not all my choices met with parental approval, and I do remember arriving home one Saturday aged 16 having had my hair dyed platinum blonde in a Marilyn Monroe hairstyle and my father burying his head in his hands…lol.

But at that time, apart from envying Lulu and Twiggy their freedom to wear mini-skirts, there was little in the way of advertising on television or even in the magazines; so we were simply not exposed to the media in the same way. Consequently our expectations about our future were much simpler and usually attainable.

Free Shoes Sneakers photo and picture

Today it is very different and it is a nightmare for parents who have children who are bombarded daily with messages about the latest phones, sneakers, music, video games and other must haves. It must be very difficult to keep saying NO when it would seem that proving your love for a child comes with a price tag. If a child keeps getting what it wants without too much effort except a little emotional blackmail and nagging it becomes embedded in their nature.

Get into their teens and there is an expectation that they can have everything they want. They watch the reality shows like the X-Factor and see kids of their own age getting the attention and possible fast track to fame, and they expect that short-cut as well.

YES is the word that they want to hear and because they do not understand the concept of NO.. they are totally unprepared for the rejection that happens to us all.

This is evident when you listen to a seventeen year old who is in tears because they have been rejected by the judges and worse still by the public… ‘I’ve wanted this all my life, I don’t know what I am going to do now.’ You only have to read about the twenty-five year olds who did get through, who are now burnt out and finding it impossible to deal with their moment of fame that is now fading.


@Sally Cronin 2023

Next time in part two, how our inability to cope with rejection in our lives impacts in adulthood.

I have enjoyed a nomadic existence living in eight countries including Sri Lanka, Malta, South Africa, USA and Spain, before settling back here in Ireland. My work, and a desire to see some of the most beautiful parts of the world in the last forty years, has taken me to many more incredible destinations around Europe and Canada, and across the oceans to New Zealand and Hawaii. All those experiences and the people that I have met, provide a rich source of inspiration for my stories.

After a career in customer facing roles in the hospitality, retail, advertising and telecommunications industry, I wrote and published my first book in 1999 called Size Matters, about my weight loss journey, losing 150lbs in 18 months.  This has been followed by 15 further fiction and non-fiction books, including a number of short story collections.

Having trained as a nutritional therapist I opened my own dietary advisory centre in Ireland in 1998 until 2002. My first book release resulted in a radio interview in Spain that led to four years as a nutritional consultant for an English language station, and this was followed by four years with my own health show and Sunday morning show on local radio station in the UK and then as station director, newsreader and presenter for an online television station.

As important as my own promotion is, I believe it is important to support others within our community. I offer a number of FREE promotional opportunities on my blog, linked to my social media. If you are an author who would like to be promoted to a new audience of dedicated readers, please contact me via my email All it will cost you is a few minutes of your time. Look forward to hearing from you.

Links to connect: My books and reviewsGoodreads: Sally Cronin – You can listen to podcasts on Sally Cronin on Soundcloud – Twitter: @sgc58 – Facebook: Sally Cronin – LinkedIn: Sally Cronin

Thank you for dropping in today and I would be delighted to hear your thoughts.


Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Music Column – The Big Band Era with William Price King and Sally Cronin – 1940s – Artie Shaw, Coleman Hawkins, The Jive

Welcome to the 2023 series of the music column where I am joined as always by Jazz singer and composer William Price King.  We hope you will join us every Tuesday for some of the chart hits of the big band era from the 1930s through to the 1950s.

Some of the earlier videos are not of the best quality however where possible we have sourced remastered copies to share with you. Considering some are almost 100 years old, it is remarkable that they exist at all.  A testament to the love of the music of that era. Along with our selections each week we will also be showcasing one of the dance crazes from the 1920s onwards and as with the music videos some are not of the highest quality and in some cases I have substituted more modern versions.

Here is my next selection from the Big Band chart in the 1940s from Artie Shaw

Artie Shaw “Frenesi” (1940)  

“Frenesi” was composed for the marimba (a percussion instrument) by Alberto Dominguez Borrás, a renowned Mexican musician and composer, but was later adapted for jazz by Leonard Whitcup. Artie Shaw recorded his version of “Frenesi” in March1940, and by the end of the year it had reached the #1 spot on the Billboard Pop chart where it remained for 13 weeks. In 1982, Shaw’s version of “Frenesi” was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.  Craig Smith

Here is my next selection from the 1940s from Coleman Hawkins

Coleman Hawkins “Body and Soul” (1940)

“Body and Soul” is a popular song and jazz standard written in 1930 with music by Johnny Green and lyrics by Edward Heyman, Robert Sour and Frank Eyton. It was also used as the musical theme and underscoring in the American film noir boxing drama Body and Soul.

One of the most famous and influential takes was recorded by Coleman Hawkins and His Orchestra on October 11, 1939, at their only recording session for Bluebird, a subsidiary of RCA Victor. The recording is unusual in that the song’s melody is only hinted at in the recording; Hawkins’ two-choruses of improvisation over the tune’s chord progression constitute almost the entire take. Because of this, as well as the imaginative use of harmony and break from traditional swing cliches, the recording is recognised as part of the “early tremors of bebop”. In 2004, the Library of Congress entered it into the National Recording Registry.  Classic Mood Experience

Other sources: Wikipedia – And: Jazz Standards

The jive is a dance style that originated in the United States from African Americans in the early 1930s. The name of the dance comes from the name of a form of African-American vernacular slang, popularized in the 1930s by the publication of a dictionary by Cab Calloway, the famous jazz bandleader and singer. In competition ballroom dancing, the jive is often grouped with the Latin-inspired ballroom dances, though its roots are based on swing dancing and not Latin dancing.

To the players of swing music in the 1930s and 1940s, “jive” was an expression denoting glib or foolish talk.

American soldiers brought Lindy Hop/jitterbug to Europe around 1940, where this dance swiftly found a following among the young. In the United States, “swing” became the most common word for the dance, and the term “jive” was adopted in the UK. Variations in technique led to styles such as boogie-woogie and swing boogie, with “jive” gradually emerging as the generic term in the UK.

Your Hosts for The Big Band Era

William Price King is an American jazz singer, crooner, and composer.

His interest in music began at an early age when he studied piano and clarinet in high school. At Morehouse College in Atlanta where he grew up, he sang in the Glee Club and studied classical music. After graduation he went off to the Yale School of Music where he earned a Masters degree. From there he journeyed to New York where he created a jazz trio ‘Au Naturel’ which performed in some of the hottest venues in Manhattan including gigs on Broadway and the famous ‘Rainbow Room.’ These gigs opened doors for performances in Montreal and a European tour.

While touring Europe he met a lovely French lady, Jeanne Maïstre, who, a year later became his wife. King left the group ‘Au Naturel’ and settled in the south of France where he started a new life on the French Riviera, opening his own music school – the “Price King Ecole Internationale de Chant.” He has had the pleasure over the years of seeing many of his students excel as singers on a professional level, and some going on to become national celebrities. He continues to coach young singers today, in his spare time.

Blog– IMPROVISATION William Price King on Tumblr – Buy William’s music: William Price King iTunes – FacebookWilliam Price King – Twitter@wpkofficial
Regular Venue – Cave Wilson

Sally Cronin is an author, blogger and broadcaster who enjoyed four years as part of the team on Onda Cero International’s English speaking morning show in Marbella and then for two years as a presenter on Expressfm the local radio station in Portsmouth. She co-presented two ‘Drive Time’ shows a week with Adrian Knight, hosted the live Thursday Afternoon Show and The Sunday Morning Show guests including musicians and authors. Following this she became Station Director for a local internet television station for two years, producing and presenting the daily news segment, outside broadcasts and co-presenting the Adrian and Sally chat show live on Friday evenings.

She and her husband David have now returned to Ireland where they live on the Wexford Coast where she blogs and continues to write books.

Books :Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – More reviews: Goodreads – blog: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Twitter: @sgc58 – Facebook: Sally Cronin – LinkedIn: Sally Cronin

Thanks for tuning in and as always we love to hear from you.. thanks William and Sally.